* Heavy pullback seen as knee-jerk reaction to payrolls data
* Volatile trade in markets ahead of jobs data seen
* Top bullion consumer India steps up gold import curb
* Coming up: U.S. wholesale data Tuesday
(Adds market details, comment, updates prices)
By Frank Tang and Jan Harvey
NEW YORK/LONDON, June 7 Gold fell around 2
percent on Friday, its biggest one-day drop in over three weeks,
as funds dumped bullion after resilient U.S. jobs data suggested
the Federal Reserve could begin to scale back its monetary
stimulus later this year.
The metal posted its first weekly drop in two weeks after
Friday's selloff more than erased gains earlier this week. A
sharp dollar drop and strong physical demand had lifted gold
above $1,400 an ounce for most of this week. For the week,
bullion eased 0.3 percent.
The United States added 175,000 jobs last month after adding
just 149,000 in April, reducing hopes of prolonged stimulus, and
that weighed down on gold's inflation-hedge appeal.
"It's a knee-jerk reaction to the jobs data. Demand for gold
is currently in the summer doldrums and the data provided an
excuse to sell," said David McAlvany, CEO of McAlvany Financial,
a unit of McAlvany Wealth, which has $475 million in assets
Spot gold was down 2.1 percent at $1,383.96 an ounce
by 2:28 p.m. EDT (1828 GMT), having hit a low of $1,377.29, the
lowest since May 28.
U.S. Comex gold futures for August delivery settled
down $32.80 an ounce at $1,383.00.
The nonfarm payrolls report also showed that U.S.
unemployment rate ticked a tenth of a point higher to 7.6
percent, but only because more Americans began to hunt for jobs.
"The employment number is better than consensus, and it
suggests that Fed bond buying will end sooner than later," said
Phillip Streible, senior commodities trader at futures brokerage
Despite the sharp pullback in prices, trading volume was
about 15 percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters
Unusual, volatile trading in markets just ahead and after
U.S. jobs data was released caused brief halts in stock and bond
futures. It was not clear what sparked the volatility but this
type of movement has happened in the past when traders tried to
speculate on the outcome of data ahead of its release.
A CME Group spokesman said there was no trading halt in gold
futures on Friday.
INDIA ACTS ON GOLD
Officials in the world's biggest bullion consumer, India,
continued efforts to curb gold imports on Friday, with the
Reserve Bank of India extending restrictions on loans against
security of gold coins per customer to all co-operative banks.
This came after India announced another increase in its
import duty for gold this week.
Silver was down 3.8 percent at $21.74 an ounce.
Platinum slipped 1.6 percent to 1,502.49 an ounce, while
palladium edged down 0.4 percent to $755.50 an ounce.
2:28 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold AUG 1383.00 -32.80 -2.3 1377.10 1417.70 182,864
US Silver JUL 21.743 -0.964 -4.2 21.610 22.755 68,969
US Plat JUL 1502.60 -26.70 -1.7 1482.30 1539.20 14,814
US Pall SEP 761.20 -1.10 -0.1 746.10 763.00 3,137
Gold 1383.96 -29.19 -2.1 1378.25 1417.46
Silver 21.740 -0.850 -3.8 21.700 22.800
Platinum 1502.49 -24.01 -1.6 1488.00 1537.75
Palladium 755.50 -3.22 -0.4 748.50 759.75
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 194,103 223,652 181,238 21.58 -0.24
US Silver 84,756 57,769 55,649 31.07 -0.02
US Platinum 15,718 11,528 11,673 22.25 0.78
US Palladium 3,179 6,531 5,571
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by
Gunna Dickson and James Dalgleish)